Nathaniel Crosby brings a deep American squad to Seminole for Walker Cup

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Nathaniel Crosby has just the squad he wanted this week for a backyard version of the Walker Cup. Crosby, 59 and (...)

Nathaniel Crosby brings a deep American squad to Seminole for Walker Cup

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Nathaniel Crosby has just the squad he wanted this week for a backyard version of the Walker Cup. Crosby, 59 and returning as captain for the U.S. side this week at Seminole Golf Club (where he’s a member), logged many miles in scouting this team. He popped up everywhere from Bandon, Oregon to Miami.

“There weren’t any awkward moments,” he said of the selection process.

No player on the resulting 10-man U.S. team is ranked worse than No. 34 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, with half ranked inside the top 10. Even filling the mid-amateur requirement was a no-brainer – 30-year-old Stewart Hagestad makes it so.

“He would have been on the team whether he was 18 or 60,” Crosby said of Hagestad, who advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Amateur in August.

Given this particular South Florida venue, Crosby was just as much of a no-brainer pick in the captaincy department. He’s the latest in a long line of Walker Cup captains to hold a membership at Seminole, Golfweek’s top-ranked private course in the state of Florida. Crosby knows the place as well as anyone, having first seen the golf course in 1976 when he played four days in a row with George Coleman (club president from 1981 to 1992), his father Bing Crosby and a family friend.

“As a 14-year-old, I shot 76 in a pretty good wind and George Coleman was so impressed with that, he said, ‘I’ll bet you if we play three more times…,’ I said, “I’ll beat that,’”  in May 2020. “And I shot between 75 and 77 the next three days and Coleman won $20 from me.”

When Crosby was an undergraduate at the University of Miami in the early 1980s, he made sure to use each of his allotted 25 rounds per year as a guest at Seminole. He won the first member-guest he played in 1979 as a guest of Doc Hoover, who was a frequent playing partner of Ben Hogan’s and “everyone’s favorite orthopedic in town.”

When Crosby last captained the Americans at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, there was significant personal history, too. Crosby was a member of the U.S. squad that won there in 1983.

“I can’t really say I’m more excited about it because Hoylake was my first and, you know, had the history there but being that I’m at home and down the street, it’s a phenomenal opportunity for me to have a special experience in front of my homies and family,” Crosby said.

Jack Nicklaus and U.S. Team Captain Nathaniel Crosby chat during a practice round at the 2021 Walker Cup at Seminole Golf Club. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Many golf fans got eyes on the iconic Donald Ross design in May 2020, when Seminole hosted the TaylorMade Driving Relief charitable match between Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

Hagestad expects the course to show well again this month.

“Depending in the wind and the conditions, it will play differently every day and … obviously changing tee markers and kind of how it’s all playing, they have such a great level on where it is for the day,” he said. “The course knowledge that’s there, just kind of the golf IQ of the membership and the genuine care that they have for it, it’s pretty spectacular.”

Traditionally, the Walker Cup is played in early September, but was moved to May to avoid Florida’s hurricane season. The two-day matches fall squarely in the college golf postseason – with conference championship having just wrapped up and NCAA Regionals set to begin May 17.

Eight of the 10 players on the U.S. team are currently on a college roster. Five of the GB&I players currently play college golf in the U.S.

In the aftermath of the American’s comeback victory to defeat GB&I on home soil in 2019 – the first road win for a U.S. team since 2007 and just the second since 1991 – Crosby referenced foursomes preparation as being a key part of his team’s preparation. Crosby said he got an idea of pairings for this week from a December practice session, and as players came in and out of Seminole in the lead-up to the matches.

2020 Walker Cup

Jack Nicklaus and Stewart Hagestad chat during a practice round at the 2021 Walker Cup at Seminole Golf Club. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Each day begins with four foursomes matches between eight singles matches on Saturday afternoon and 10 on Sunday afternoon. In 2019, the U.S. won four and a half of a possible eight points in foursomes.

That year, Hagestad paired twice with then-17-year-old Akshay Bhatia, the youngest player ever selected to a U.S. Walker Cup team. At Seminole, Hagestad said, it’s important to pair with someone who complements your weaknesses.

“It’s not like we haven’t played it before, I think we’ve just been outplayed,” Hagestad said candidly on the format. “It just comes down to play better.”

The Americans did that, too, in 2019. The two-day matches can go by quickly. There isn’t time to waste.

“In match play, you have to come out swinging, you can’t kind of get into the rhythm of it.”

Let the Cup begin.

How to watch

May 8

Foursomes: Peacock, 10-11 a.m.
Foursomes: Golf Channel, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Singles: Peacock, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Singles: Golf Channel, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

May 9

Foursomes: Peacock, 10-11 a.m.
Foursomes: Golf Channel, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Singles: Peacock, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Singles: Golf Channel, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Source : Golf Week More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

The field is set for the NCAA Division III Women's National Championship

The field has been finalized for the NCAA Division III Women’s Championship at Forest Akers Golf Courses (West Course) in Lansing, (...)

The field is set for the NCAA Division III Women's National Championship

The NCAA Division III Women’s Championship will be played May 11-14 at Forest Akers Golf Courses (West Course) in Lansing, Michigan, and the field has been finalized.

Twenty-one conferences were granted automatic qualification and the remaining four teams in the 25-team field were selected on an at-large basis from conferences and the independent institutions. Six individuals from non-advancing teams round out the field.

The 72-hole event will include a cut to the top 15 teams and six individuals not on those teams after 54 holes.

In 2019, the last time the championship was played, New York University won its maiden national title while runner-up honors went to Williams College and Methodist finished third.

The final 2021 field is listed below.

Related: NCAA Division III Men’s National Championship field

TEAMS

  1. University of Redlands
  2. Methodist University
  3. Centre College
  4. Carnegie Mellon University
  5. Williams College
  6. George Fox University
  7. St. Catherine University
  8. Emory University
  9. University of Texas at Dallas
  10. York College (Pennsylvania)
  11. Washington and Lee University
  12. Illinois Wesleyan University
  13. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  14. Saint Mary’s College (Indiana)
  15. Denison University
  16. Ohio Northern University
  17. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  18. Grinnell College
  19. University of Dubuque
  20. Ithaca College
  21. Westminster College (Pennsylvania)
  22. The College of St. Scholastica
  23. Marymount University (Virginia)
  24. Catholic University
  25. Lakeland University

INDIVIDUALS

  1. Nicole Miller, Bethel University (Minnesota)
  2. Kaila Higgins, Chapman University
  3. Shreya Ganta, Christopher Newport University
  4. Sarah Hsu, Oglethorpe University
  5. Sydney McConnell, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  6. Danielle Bambola, State University of New York at Cortland
Source : Golf Week More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.